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FCC Seeks Comment on Rip-and-Replace Cost Catalog

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The FCC is seeking comment on a report it has just issued with preliminary eligible expenses and costs for securing the nation's critical communications network infrastructure.

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The report, the Supply Chain Reimbursement Program Study, is part of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program mandated by Congress. The FCC is overseeing the replacement of suspect tech that it deems poses "an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the security and safety of U.S. persons."

The FCC contracted with Widelity to produce a report "detailing the anticipated steps in removing, replacing, and disposing of covered communications equipment or services and an initial proposed version of the Catalog and Replacement List."

The report was based on interviews with stakeholders to understand the process and costs. The FCC wants public input on the report, including the methodologies, and whether it accurately anticipates the expenses.

The catalog will be used by applicants for planning and estimating purposes and can be cited in those applications, though applicants can supply their own estimates if they don't agree with the catalog or have additional tech they think should be covered.

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The catalog produced by Widelity contains only estimates, so prices may vary, as it were.

The FCC also wants to know: "To what extent are the cost estimates included in the proposed Catalog reasonable? Are the suggested cost ranges likely to help carriers estimate the costs for application submissions and identify potential replacement equipment and services? Are there additional cost categories and subcategories that should be included in the final Catalog?"

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.